9 Mouthwatering Dishes to Serve Your Guests this Holiday Season
The holiday season may be about jingling bells and giving gifts, but one thing that your guests look forward to more than the décor and carols is the food. As the host or hostess, you can show off your culinary skills and impress everyone with a spread that will have them coming back for seconds.
You can stick to your “specialty” each year or switch it up and try something new. Regardless of what you put on the table, you can’t take the taste and presentation lightly. Yes, that also means breaking out the good china.
Since deciding what to serve your guests can take up most of your time, we’ve put together a list of show-stopping dishes that will make your guests drool:
1. Handle the Essentials First
What’s the one thing that completes your festive round-up? The drinks, of course. Whether you’re serving a sit-down dinner or appetizers buffet style, you’ll need chilled, sparkling wine on the table. You can go for a classic like Champagne or Prosecco or try something different like Crémant or Cava. And don’t forget to have a few bottles of red and white wine at the ready, too.
If you’re in Tennessee, the white grape must-have is the state’s official wine. The dry red is also loved since it goes well with beef and lamb dishes.
So, head to the renowned Tennessee wineries to stock up on some local wines for your holiday feast.
2. Can’t-Miss Appetizers
When it comes to starters, there are a few ways you can go about it. You can either make them yourself or buy them pre-made. The latter is your best bet if you’re short on time. But if you want to keep all the praises for yourself, whip up something special.
Some of our favorite holiday appetizers include:
Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce
A vegetarian, gluten-free, party pleaser – this dish takes less than 30 minutes to make and can be served warm or cold. Three ingredients, twenty minutes, and BAM. You’ll have a gourmet appetizer that looks like it took all day. If your guests aren’t cranberry fanatics, you can substitute it with any other fruit preserve.
Classic Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimps are the ultimate appetizer. Ditch the shrimp ring this year and opt for a classic shrimp cocktail. It’s healthy, low-calorie, and can be made ahead of time. All you need is fresh or frozen shrimp, cocktail sauce, and a little lime juice. Garnish it with fresh herbs or avocado if you want to get fancy.
Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
Who doesn’t love bacon? This dish is easy, flavorful, and will be gone in seconds. It’s the perfect bite-sized appetizer for your holiday party. Grab a few cans of water chestnuts, some bacon, and your favorite BBQ sauce. Then, wrap and bake.
Crispy Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon
Have you ever tried a latke? They’re basically potato pancakes that are popular in Jewish cuisine. They are a quick fix that you can whip up in under an hour. You can serve them as a starter or main course. Top them with smoked salmon, sour cream, and dill for this holiday season.
Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon
This rich soup is the perfect way to warm up on a cold winter night. It’s creamy and thick, yet light enough that you can still enjoy all of the other dishes on your holiday table. Plus, who doesn’t love bacon? Top it with chives, sour cream, or crumbled bacon to make it irresistible.
3. For the Main Course
There’s nothing worse than a holiday meal that falls flat. That’s why it’s important to choose dishes that are not only delicious but also festive. Here are some timeless main courses:
Roasted Turkey with Herb Stuffing
Is there anything more quintessentially holiday than a roasted turkey? This dish is perfect for large gatherings and comes with various side dishes. Whether you stuff the turkey with traditional bread stuffing or something more unique like rice, quinoa, and cranberries, your guests are sure to be impressed.
Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Cream Sauce
This dish is perfect for the meat lovers in your life. It’s a show-stopping main course with minimal effort, and the chewy, tender beef is the perfect canvas for the creamy horseradish sauce. Serve it with some roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts for a complete meal.
Slow Cooker Honey-Glazed Ham
Ham and honey go together like peanut butter and jelly. The sweetness of the honey glaze pairs perfectly with the savory ham. You’ll need a few other essentials for this dish: pineapple juice, brown sugar, cloves, and a slow cooker. Let the ingredients meld together in the slow cooker, and you’ll have an easy and delicious dish.
Vegetarian Stuffed Portobellos
Not everyone eats meat, and that’s okay. This holiday season, include a few vegetarian-friendly dishes on your menu. These stuffed portobellos are finger-licking good and will be devoured by vegetarians and meat-eaters. They’re packed with flavor thanks to the combination of roasted red peppers, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese.
Festive table spread? Check. Delicious food? Check. The only thing missing from your holiday gathering is your guests. Gather your loved ones around the table and enjoy a meal that is sure to please. If you’re planning on serving homemade dessert, gingerbread cookies and pumpkin pie are always crowd-pleasers. You can also go with a good old-fashioned fruitcake.
No matter what you serve, the most important thing is that you enjoy time spent with those you love.